Gov. Tate Reeves and a panel of state healthcare leaders addressed the public Tuesday to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations and dispel rumors and worries over the shots.

There had been more than 1.3 million COVID-19 vaccines administered in the state as of Tuesday morning. That includes 822,862 citizens who’ve received one dose, 26% of the population, and 553,560 who’ve been fully vaccinated, 17% of the population.

In Pike County, 26% of the population has received one dose, and 16% has been fully vaccinated for a total of 15,892 shots given.

In Amite County, 19% have gotten one dose, and 13% are fully vaccinated for 3,768 total.

In Walthall County, 19% have gotten one dose, and 14% are fully vaccinated for 4,503 shots total.

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said that while hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are down by 88% from January, diligent precautions are still needed to prevent transmission of the virus.

“We have a light at the end of the tunnel, but we also have a train behind us,” Dobbs said.

The state health department still encourages mask wearing in public, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.

Cardiologist Dr. Clay Hays and OB-GYN Dr. Meredith Travelstead joined Reeves and Dobbs to discuss the safety of the vaccine.

Travelstead said that despite internet rumors, COVID-19 vaccines do not pose a danger to pregnancy or breastfeeding. She advises those who are pregnant and get a fever as a vaccine side effect to take Tylenol, she said.

“We feel very good that the vaccines are safe,” said Hays.

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